Mr. Stack's Graduation Speech

Dear Graduates,

In just a few minutes, you will all be officially released from you required duties as a student in the Sanborn Regional School District. As your principal, I have the honor of offering you some parting words as you prepare to start the next chapter of your life. I’d like you to spend a couple minutes taking a trip back in time with me.

Let’s start our journey back in the fall of 2007. You came to this school as freshman a little scared, a little nervous, but hopefully a little excited about the possibilities that would lie ahead. As you passed through the halls from Ms. Hadwen’s Citizens in a Global Society class to Mr. Salge’s Freshman Science class, our world was changing. Apple released arguably the greatest invention of the year, maybe even the decade -- the iPhone. This single invention changed the way we communicate and brought about the advent of “smart phones”, touch screens, and the concept of an “Ap”.

As you entered your sophomore year, you were excited about the possibilities of no longer being the “new class” in the school. You were a little older, a little taller, and (hopefully) a little wiser. You worked hard to get through courses like Geometry, Biology, and of course, Ms. Jules’ Economics class. While you were busy with this, a woman named Anne Wojcicki did something that everyone told her wasn’t possible: She started a small company called 23andMe that marketed a unique product: a $399 saliva test that estimates your predisposition for more than 90 traits and conditions ranging from baldness to blindness. This was the world’s first retail DNA test.

Finally in the fall of 2009, you charged into Sanborn excited to begin your junior year. Aside from having to be the first class to take the NECAP as a graduation requirement, you were very optimistic that junior year was going to be a good one, and it was. Finally you had choice in the classes you could take. Some of you pursued programs at SST. Some of you took advanced elective offerings like Japanese, Mr. Czyzowski’s Performance Shakespeare, or Ruth’s Psychology class. You were upperclassmen, and let’s be honest, you might have been more powerful around here than the senior class at the time. In the world outside of Sanborn, big ideas were on the horizon. NASA developed the Ares Rocket, The best and smartest and coolest thing built in 2009 — a machine that can launch human beings to cosmic destinations we'd never considered before. Philips Electronics developed a new LED lightbulb that they predicted could save enough energy (and money) in America to light 17.4 million homes annually.

In the fall of 2010, you finally became the mighty Seniors of Sanborn. You had the school at your fingertips. You effortlessly ruled Homecoming and Winter Carnival. You worked your butts off for Ms. Miles in Senior English, Mr. Dearborn in Physics, and Dr. Young in precalculus. While you were doing this, Apple released what many are calling the greatest invention of the year – it became the fastest-selling nonphone gizmo in consumer-electronics history --- the iPad. Apple created the perfect bookend to your high school career – a tablet-style computer. So, you entered as freshman with the iPhone, you left with the excitement of what tablet computing and the iPad might bring. Just think about the progress and put it all in perspective. The last major Apple invention before the iPhone was the iPod – a device that single handedly changed the entire music industry. The iPod came out in 2001 – you were only in 2nd grade.

I want you to think about the monumental changes that took place in our world between the iPod and the iPad – the time it took you to go from 2nd to 12th grade. The twenty-first century is a fast-moving environment. We can only begin to imagine what the world will look like in four years when you again take the stage to graduate, this time from college. It will truly be a brave new world, and YOU will be our new leaders. Maybe YOU will invent a cool new AP that will make our lives easier. Maybe one of YOU will have a major medical breakthrough or find a cure for cancer. Maybe YOU will help the human race finally make long distance space travel possible.

Look deep into your heart and remember, YOU have the knowledge, YOU have the potential, but most importantly, YOU have the drive to make anything possible. Make the most of your skills. Take from Sanborn the memories and the confidence that YOU can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Carpe Diem – Seize the Day – don’t just sit idle waiting for life to come to you. And finally, my last piece of advice for you: When you finally make it big with that great idea, don’t forget to send a thank you check to your old high school principal – he is counting on you!!!……….just kidding!



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